Best Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling

In the vast world of cycling, not all are professionals, and not all wear cleats.  Many bikers still prefer to use regular shoes.  There is actually a long line of non-cycling shoes to choose from, from price to comfort and durability.    

TIP: When choosing a cycling shoe, make sure that it offers enough arch support.  If it doesn’t, try to achieve it by using shoe insoles to make your bike ride more comfortable.  

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling

1. Comfort

When riding a bicycle, the first thing that you should consider is comfort.  Buying on online stores is fine, but being able to try it personally before purchasing it is still the safest way to get the best fit and size. 

However, if it is not possible for you to try it personally, simply get an accurate measurement of your foot.  It is also important that you carefully check the measurement guide as there are several shoe size systems that are being used.   

2. Breathability

Breathability is important when biking, especially during the summer season.  Having well-ventilated shoes prevents the feet from sweating. 

3. Durability

In order for you to have a comfortable and lasting bike ride, you need to have durable shoes, especially if you like traversing through rough terrains and bumpy roads.  

Examine if the noncycling shoe has a well-secured toe cap.  If it does, well and good.  But if it bears the typical mesh material, it may not be that durable – it may only be considered as casual shoes.  

If paying more dollars could mean years of partnership between you, your bike, and your cycling shoe, it is truly worth it.   

4. Stiff Sole

Cycling shoes, particularly road cycling shoes, should have a stiff sole in order for the energy to be transported efficiently into the pedals in every stroke.  Regular non-cycling shoes are typically softer. 

For instance, the soles of the tennis shoes and soccer shoes are equipped with shock-absorbing foam to intensify impact absorption.  

Soft soles are not applicable to cycling shoes because you will lose a great amount of energy pedaling your bike, which will result in quicker exhaustion, especially during long rides.

It is likewise important that your non-cycling shoes have adequate arch support.  If not, you may augment it by using shoe insoles.  Shoe insoles will provide greater arch support as well as comfort.        

The Best Non Cycling Shoes for Cycling for Men and Women

Below you’ll find regular non cycling shoes that mostly possess a remarkable level of comfort when casually riding a bike.  But if you feel you already need to level up, then that’s the time you switch to a cycling shoe. 

1. Charged Assert 8 by Under Armour

The Charged Asset 8 non cycling shoe is specifically intended for men, but it also carries colors that could perfectly fit women.  You don’t need to worry about getting sweaty feet because it is well-ventilated.  This is a great bike shoe to use during hot summer days.    

This shoe by Under Armour demonstrates flexibility, which is a good choice for cycling as well as for walking.  Pedaling does not require great effort because the Charged Assert 8 only weighs 280 grams or 0.62 pounds.     

Its versatility is also one of its strengths as this can be used in almost all occasions.  However, it is not recommended to be used in rough or bumpy terrains because it is not made for these types of road conditions. 

Another thing that is not good about this product is that its arch support is quite weak, and so, you should find it important to support it with shoe insoles.  

PROs:

  • There are more than 20 colors to choose from.
  • Sizes are available for both men and women.
  • It is lightweight.
  • It boasts durability and comfort.
  • It is breathable.  

CONs:

  • Its arch support is not impressive.  Has to be supported with shoes insoles
  • Not ideal for trekking and hiking.  

2. SH-MT701 by Shimano

I know what’s in your mind right now.  You might be wondering why am I including this Shimano shoe if I should be talking only about non cycling shoes.  Well, it’s because the SH-MT701 by Shimano is a regular shoe and cycling shoe rolled into one. 

You heard it right! It can be a regular shoe, without the shoelaces. It uses the BOA lacing system, wherein you’ll just have to turn the dials to tighten or loosen the shoe. 

It can also be transformed into SPD cleats for SPD pedals.  If your bike is not equipped with an SPD pedal, flat pedals are more than enough.   

Don’t worry about your foot slipping from your pedals because the SH-MT701’s flat sole has an outstanding grip.  And because of Shimano’s flexible sole, it is also an ideal shoe for walking.     

The SH-MT701 makes use of breathable materials, which is perfect to wear when on a biking adventure during summer.   

But the downside of this Shimano shoe is that it is heavier than most running shoes – it weighs 365 grams or 0.8 pounds.  

PROs: 

  • It is compatible with SPD pedals and with mountain bike pedals.  
  • It makes use of the BOA lacing technology.  
  • It is breathable.
  • It has a firm and flexible sole making it ideal for biking and walking.  

CONs

  • It is quite pricey.
  • There are no other colors to choose from. 

3. Gel-Venture 7 by ASICS

If you’re searching for an inexpensive non cycling shoe alternative that can take you through challenging terrains and a comfortable bike ride, the Gel-Venture 7 would be a good option.

The ASICS regular non cycling shoes are equipped with a gel sole that is capable of absorbing shocks.  Its best features include toughness, breathability and suppleness, which makes it perfect for bikes with flat pedals. 

You probably would have a hard time deciding on what color to pick since you have over 15 colors to choose from.  

The only rip-off that’s noticeable with the Gel-Venture 7 is its meager arch support, which needs you to use shoe insoles.

PROs:

  • There are over 15 colors to choose from.
  • It struts durability as well as breathability.
  • Its gel sole is shock-absorbent.    

CONs:

  • Its arch support is inferior.

4. Atwood by Vans

Are you into BMX riding or mountain biking?  If you are, then a skateboard shoe, like the Vans Atwood might be right for you.  

Atwood has a flat sole with holes that allows it to have a good grip onto the metal studs of the platform of the bike.  This prevents the shoe from slipping off the pedals. 

Comfort as well the great bond that is formed between the biker and the bike makes this one of the most popular non cycling shoes. This, however, is not for the flat-footed individuals.  But if this is truly your number 1 option, then you would need shoe insoles to make it comfortable to wear.

Though the Atwood has a good grip, it is still not recommended for trekking or hiking. Its sole is not designed for jagged terrains.

PROs:

  • You have more than 20 styles to choose from.
  • Its flat sole is ideal for platform pedals.
  • It has a classic yet appealing design.  

CONs:

  • It has an inferior arch support.  Shoe insoles are needed to achieve comfort.  
  • Lacks ventilation.  
  • It is not recommended for trekking and hiking.

5. Five Ten Freerider MTB Shoes

One of the most sought-after brands when it comes to the best non cycling shoes for cycling is the Five Ten Freerider MTB Shoes.  It is designed for flat pedals and showcases a sole with a superior grip, which prevents bikers from slipping off the platform pedals.  

It may be weightier than most running shoes, but you could never question its durability.  You can rely on the Five Ten Freerider for a number of years.  

The sole of this mountain bike shoe is stiffer, which allows you to transfer a great amount of energy into the pedals in every stroke.

Durability and comfort are the main factors that make the Five Ten admirable.  You can actually pedal for hours using this without feeling any soreness or discomfort.  

What’s nice about this non cycling shoe is that it may also be used in hiking and walking, though it doesn’t have the kind of grip that trail or hiking shoes have.  

So, if you are fond of biking, walking and hiking, you should own a Free Ten Freerider MTB Shoes.

PROs:

  • It is perfect for individuals with broad feet.  
  • You can choose from more than 5 colors.
  • It has a grippy and stiff sole
  • Its toe box can highly resist impact.

CONs:

  • It is weightier than most running shoes.    
  • It is more pricey than any other regular non-cycling shoes.

6. Cloudfoam Pure by Adidas

The Cloudfoam Pure bears a classic design that is popular among athletic women.  Generally, the characteristics that people usually look for in a non cycling shoe is weight, breathability, and comfort, and all these can be found in this sneaker. 

This is very ideal for bikes with flat pedals as it has a rubber sole, it is lightweight, and is flexible.  

It is equipped with loops at the back and in front making it easier to wear.  It has a shoe insole from Cloudfoam Memory that offers supreme comfort.

This awesome Cloudfoam Pure is very versatile as it can serve as regular shoes, running shoes, and walking shoes, but only on concrete roads and not on bumpy terrains.

PROs:

  • It is available in a wide variety of colors.
  • It is breathable and lightweight.
  • It exhibits comfort.
  • It has a remarkable arch support.

CONs:

  • It is not appropriate for trekking as well as hiking.  

7. Moab 2 by Merrell

The Merrell Moab 2 is a great non cycling shoe for people who love to bike and, at the same time, hike.  It is designed mainly for trekking or hiking, but it can also be a cycling shoe.  

This shoe by Merrell is water-resistant and breathable, which prevents your feet from sweating and from getting soaked in rain water.  Though breathable, this is not that comfortable to use during summer because its lining is somewhat warm.  It’s perfect to use during autumn and spring seasons.

The arch of Moab 2 provides moderate support and gives enough comfort to persons who are flat-footed but is quite heavy at 794 grams because of its durable materials and its solid sole.

PROs:

  • It defines durability well, which makes it apt for trekking and hiking in lumpy terrains.  
  • It is breathable and water-resistant.
  • It  has an average arch support.
  • It has excellent ankle support.
  • It is comfortable to wear.

CONs:

  • It is quite heavy.
  • It is not recommended during summer.   

8. Air Max Bella TR 2 by Nike

Air Max Bella TR 2 is one of the most admired running shoes because it is lightweight, well-ventilated and very comfortable.  Its rubber sole is flat that has holes, which allows the foot to have a good grip onto the platform pedals of the bike.  

It is equipped with a back loop that makes it easy to wear.  The Air MAx Bella TR 2 is just so wonderful to use when the climate is hot.  This shoe’s appealing design is not just for road cycling or running, but likewise a perfect indoor biking shoes, walking shoes, and training shoes.     

But the sad thing is that it’s not a good idea to wear on lumpy terrains.  Better use trekking shoes when heading for a more extreme adventure.

PROs:  

  • There is a wide variety to choose from.
  • It is excellent in terms of breathability.   
  • Its flat rubber sole is spot-on for platform pedals.
  • It offers comfort.
  • It has an average arch support.  

CONs:

  • Not ideal to use as trekking or hiking shoes.  

Conclusion

The best non cycling shoes for cycling depends greatly on the riding style of the user, but in general, cyclists would always choose to wear light and breathable running shoes.  

The Charged Assert 8 by Under Armour boasts comfort as well as breathability.  It is highly recommended for men.  

As for the women’s non-cycling shoes,  two of the best options include the Air MAx Bella TR 2 by Nike and the Cloudfoam Pure by Adidas.  They are both great shoes to wear while pedaling through concrete roads.

But if you’re a meticulous rider, you should give the Five Ten Freerider MTB shoes a try.  Its stiff sole and durability might gain your approval. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are considered the best non cycling shoes for cycling?

1. Running Shoes

It is lightweight, has first-rate impact absorption, is very breathable, and is extremely comfortable. These sneakers will already do if you don’t have any long ride plans.  But if you’re more accustomed to long rides, then this isn’t for you because its soft sole will only be exhausting your energy while pedaling.  

Bear in mind that running shoes are made for different types of terrains.  It is highly recommended that you choose a design that can deal with any road conditions.  The running shoe’s sole has to be semi-smooth and semi-hard to achieve a good grip.    

2. Touring Shoe

A touring shoe can either be a regular shoe or a cycling shoe.  It can be used with or without a cleat. Furthermore, this type of shoe is ideal to use if your bike has flat platforms or clipless pedals.  

Its versatility and flexibility also make the touring shoes very comfortable to wear when walking, hiking or trekking.  Being an all-type terrain shoe, it is expected that it is more durable than other non cycling shoes. 

3. Skate Shoe

The skate shoe is well-liked by cyclists who have flat pedals because of its flat sole, which has holes making a good grip on the pedals possible.  Such non cycling shoes are mostly used by BMX riders.  

Nike, VANS, Converse, and Etnies are some of the most trusted brands

4. Indoor Cycling Shoes

This type of non cycling shoes is quite comparable to running shoes.  The sole, as well as the construction, are the two major factors that make the two different from each other.  Indoor cycling shoes have rubber soles, which allow them to stick well on the floor’s surface.  

However, do not attempt to use these shoes while biking under the falling rain because you might find your shoes slipping off from the pedals.  

Another frustrating thing about these types of shoes is that they are not as breathable as running shoes, but are still equally comfortable and durable. 

5. Trail, Trekking, and Hiking Shoes

These shoes are really designed for bumpy terrains, and this only means that they are durable, comfortable and well-ventilated, but they are weightier than running shoes.  If you are an adventurous person who loves hiking or trekking, then you should go for these kinds of shoes.

They don’t have the flexibility that running shoes have, but this feature will actually save you a lot of energy while riding your bike.  But the downside is that it’s not ideal to wear on long rides.   

Is a special cycling shoe needed when cycling?

No, you do not have to wear special cycling shoes when riding your bike, unless you’re using clipless pedals.  What qualifies as good alternatives to cycling shoes are the skate shoes and running shoes. 

What footwear is not ideal for cycling? 

There are several types of footwear that don’t qualify as non cycling shoes because they don’t offer adequate protection and support, which might lead to injuries or accidents.  Avoid the following when riding a bike:

  • Flip flops/slippers
  • Crocs
  • Sandals
  • Boots
  • Leather shoes/formal shoes
  • High heels

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By Paul P.

Paul Panha is an avid cyclist and sports performance enthusiast. Regularly on the road testing (and buying) new bikes. Paul is a co-owner of GetBike.fit and is the head resident author here.